El Hiblu 1: Enough evidence for bill of indictment against youths – court

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

There are grounds to indict three teenage migrants who are accused of hijacking the El Hiblu 1, the Magistrate’s court has proclaimed.

Three teenagers two from Guinea and one from the Ivory Coast, aged 15, 16 and 19, could face jail time of between 7 and 30 years for charges believed to constitute terrorist activity under Maltese law.

The youths are believed to have forced the captain and crew of the vessel to change the course of the vessel towards Malta when it was realized that the vessel was turning towards the Libyan coastline. It is understood that the migrants had originally been promised to be taken to Europe.

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The Turkish captain of the vessel had told the court last week that he was threatened by the migrants to ‘Go Malta’.

Special operatives from AFM boarded the vessel on March 28th when it entered Maltese territorial waters.

The adjourned on Monday with the judgment that there was sufficient evidence which could see the three youths face a bill of indictment.